MEGA RESHUF­FLE 9 new faces likely to be in­ducted into min­istry

The ex­pan­sion of the Union Min­istry is likely to see the in­duc­tion of sev­eral new faces, many of them new to min­is­te­rial ex­pe­ri­ence at the cen­tral level. Seven of the new faces are from the north­ern states and only two from the south. Two of the new in­duc

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - EX­PRESS NEWS SER­VICE @ New Delhi

WITH an ex­pan­sion and reshuf­fle of the Union Min­istry sched­uled for 10.30 am Sunday, dozens of names of new en­trants were spec­u­lated upon through­out Satur­day, but by late evening nine names emerged as cer­tain­ties.

They are Shiv Pratap Shukla (UP), Ash­wini Ku­mar Choubey (Bi­har), Viren­dra Ku­mar (MP), Anan­tku­mar Hegde (Kar­nataka), Raj Ku­mar Singh (Bi­har), Hardeep Singh Puri (for­mer IFS of­fi­cer), Ga­jen­dra Singh Shekhawat (Ra­jasthan), Satya Pal Singh (UP) and Alphons Kannanthanam (Ker­ala).

Con­sid­er­ing that most of these names were not in the spec­u­la­tive lists, an­other sur­prise or two from PM Naren­dra Modi and Amit Shah is al­ways likely. The PM and the BJP pres­i­dent were giv­ing fi­nal touches to the ex­er­cises.

The com­po­si­tion of the list above gives the lie to some of the point­ers pro­vided by pun­dits in the last two days. Two of the names above, Choubey and RK Singh, are MPs from Bi­har, but nei­ther is from the JD(U), which re­cently hitched its wagon to the NDA. Bi­har CM Ni­tish Ku­mar said he was not even spo­ken to about the min­is­te­rial ex­pan­sion.

Other al­lies such as the Shiv Sena were also not con­sulted. Nor does any AIADMK name fig­ure in the list, which puts paid to spec­u­la­tion that the party was poised to en­ter the NDA and the min­istry.

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